Can I get a DNA Paternity test on the NHS?

NHS LogoWe get asked many times if it is possible to get a paternity test on the NHS. Well, the simple answer is no the NHS will not give you a paternity test free of charge even if your doctor recommends you have one taken.

Paternity testing is a very sensitive subject, so if you’re considering a paternity test, it’s important to think carefully about all the issues involved, for example:

  • Is the test in the child’s best interests?
  • What will impact on family relationships?
  • What will do you if you do not get the answer you’re looking for?

If the result is unexpected or not the result that you want, it can affect everyone involved especially the child for the rest of their lives.

Can you receive Paternity testing on the NHS?

You cannot receive Paternity testing on the NHS. But as costs come down companies like AlphaBiolabs make DNA paternity testing more affordable. If your considering buying a paternity test, it is a really good idea to discuss these issues with your GP before buying a paternity test or consider arranging some counselling as they can help you consider all the implications of taking a paternity test on yourself, the child and your family.
We provide you with a support page, with videos and links to independent websites which can help you with the support you may need at this troubling time.

Paternity testing on the NHS?

Should you require a legal DNA test, then it may be that instead of having one of our company nurses collect your DNA sample you can get your local GP or health clinic to collect the DNA paternity test samples for you. We can arrange for the legal sample kit to be sent to any registered health practice, but we have seen in the past that all health clinics will charge you for this service.

If you do decide to go ahead and take a paternity test then if you speak to your local GP he will tell you that you cannot have a paternity testing on the NHS as the NHS will not pay for the sample to be processed so the cost implications are something else you must consider. The cost varies, depending on the test provider you use and the type of paternity test you take. There are two types of DNA test available today.

The first type of paternity test is usually called a peace of mind paternity test, which cannot be used in a court of law. It is just for your peace of mind so cannot be used to help you claim child maintenance or claim custody of a child as the collection of the paternity test samples id done by you so the laboratory cannot confirm that the samples provided have not been tampered with and the correct samples have been received into the laboratory.

The second type of paternity test is called legal paternity test. This type of paternity test involves the use of a trusted third party to take the DNA samples, such as a registered nurse or doctor. These samples are sealed in tamper proof envelopes, and copies of the individuals involved identification is taken and sealed with the DNA samples.

The samples are then posted back to the laboratory and tested. The DNA samples follow a chain of custody, which means that every step of the testing process is documented and recorded. This type of test can be used in a court of law as there is no way for anybody to tamper with the paternity test samples.

A child inherits DNA from both of its parents. Paternity tests can identify whether a man is the father of a child, by looking at DNA from:

  • The alleged father
  • The child
  • The mother

 

Currently, there is no requirement to take a DNA sample from the mother, but for more accurate results we recommend that the mother provides a sample.

Each person provides a sample containing their DNA so it can be analysed. For example, a sample of cheek cells from inside the mouth. This is done by the use of a mouth swab, rather like a large cotton bud being rubbed vigorously on the inside of the cheek. The testing laboratory is not looking to collect saliva from this process, but some cheek cells. The test is painless and takes seconds to complete.

Each person must give written consent to their DNA sample being taken and tested. This is a requirement by law.

For a child under 16, a person with parental responsibility may consent on their behalf. If a child or young person can understand the issues involved, their opinion should be taken into account when deciding whether the test is in their best interests. We recommend that you speak to the child and tell them the reasons that you would like a paternity test.

You can find information about parental responsibility on the Direct.gov website.

AlphaBiolabs is currently the leading provider of both peace of mind paternity tests and legal paternity tests within the UK. They are accredited by the Ministry of Justice for DNA testing, and our paternity tests are recognised by the CSA (Child Support Agency) and the UK Immigration service. Our DNA testing services are used by many county councils, the legal profession and members of the public.

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